D’Andre Swift gets some love from Maurice Jones-Drew’s RB rankings

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Ready or not, D’Andre Swift will be the top running back for the Detroit Lions in his second season with the team. One former successful NFL back believes Swift has the ability to make a major leap in 2021.

Maurice Jones-Drew, who once rushed for over 4,000 yards in a three-year stretch, ranked Swift at No. 22 in his preseason listing of the top RBs for each team. And while that might seem a little low for Swift, it’s clear from the ranking and how Jones-Drew presents Detroit’s second-round pick from 2020 that he sees potential for a lot more.

Swift’s rookie season was a mixed bag with a few big performances but more subpar outings. The Lions can’t afford for their rushing attack to have a lull that stretches on for a while. Swift, a talented and versatile weapon out of the backfield, must find consistency and make a major Year 2 leap in Anthony Lynn’s offense.

Jones-Drew’s commentary is fair. Swift did have an inconsistent rookie season. He broke the 100-yard mark on just 14 carries against the Colts but managed just one measly yard on six carries against the Jaguars two weeks later.

He rushed for 521 yards at a 4.6 yards per carry clip while splitting time with both Adrian Peterson and Kerryon Johnson. They’re both gone now, leaving Swift ahead of newcomer Jamaal Williams as the Lions’ top ground threat.

It’s worth noting that Jones-Drew has Swift ranked ahead of the likes of Melvin Gordon, Miles Sanders and Mike Davis, each of whom was more productive a year ago.